Drilon Says POGOs NOT BPO, “No Special Treatment Please”
POGOs NOT BPO – The government faced harsh criticisms after allowing Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs) to operate amid quarantine.
Previously, PACGOR’s Chairperson was reported to have convinced the Inter-agency Task Force that POGOs is part of the BPO industry. However, this was refuted by mostly all governing bodies part of the industry.
POGO services are offered to offshore players, majority of which are based in China. Since China had made gambling illegal, the Chinese resorted to run operations outside of the country.
As such, Senator Franklin Drilon emphasized that POGOs are not part of the BPO Industry. According to an article from One News PH, Drilon said:
Let us not circumvent the law. They cannot choose what law to apply whenever it is convenient for them. Dati hindi silaBPO, ngayon BPO na?
POGOs are engaged in gambling. Period. Hence, they should be subject to the same rules that other gambling establishments are subjected to
Furthermore he stressed that if the gaming industry is not allowed to run during the quarantine, then POGOs should not be allowed as well. Additionally, he noted that POGOs should not be allowed any special treatment.
One of the key factors for the government’s decision to allow POGOs to operate was to generate funds. However, POGOS still have unpaid taxes and liabilities amounting to billions of pesos.
As such, PACGOR said they needed to pay all of its liabilities and taxes before allowing them to run partial operations. But, POGOs were also involved in controversies including illegal activities such as money laundering, prostitution, bribery, and kidnapping.
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